Wrist fractures can occur at any age, but they tend to happen most often in children younger than 18 and in adults over the age of 50. No matter how old you are, a fractured wrist requires immediate care from John Hand, MD, and Brian Schofield, MD, and Adam Bright, MD, at Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics in Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Hand and Dr. Schofield and Dr. Bright have extensive experience treating wrist fractures to restore your normal strength and function. If you need help, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Wrist fractures most often occur when you stretch out your arm to stop a fall and end up landing on your palm. You can also break your wrist during sports activities or a car accident.
Breaking a healthy wrist requires a strong impact. If you have osteoporosis, however, you can break your wrist with little force.
Your wrist contains eight small bones arranged in two rows. The wrist joint also includes your two arm bones, which communicate with the wrist.
There are two common types of wrist fractures:
When doctors refer to a wrist fracture, they mean that you broke your radius, the large arm bone on the side of your thumb. This is by far the most common type of wrist fracture. The radius usually breaks about one inch above the wrist bones, but the fracture can extend into the joint.
Another common wrist fracture involves the scaphoid bone, which is the small wrist bone located next to the radius near your thumb.
A broken wrist causes immediate pain, bruising, and swelling. Chances are you will have a hard time moving or using your hand and wrist. You may also notice tingling or numbness in your fingers.
A scaphoid fracture also causes pain and swelling, but some people have severe pain, while others have minimal pain and may think they simply sprained their wrist. If your pain doesn’t improve in a day, you should schedule an examination.
Your provider at Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics recommends the type of treatment based on the severity of your fracture.
When the bones are still in their normal position, you need a cast to stabilize the bones while they heal. If the bones are displaced or shattered, you will need surgery to repair and realign the bones before getting a cast.
Your provider may be able to realign the arm bone without making an incision. Or they may need to perform surgery to clean away debris and straighten the bones. When needed, they secure the bones in their proper position using plates, screws, pins, or an external fixator.
When you need experienced treatment for a wrist fracture, call Schofield, Hand and Bright Orthopaedics or book an appointment online.